Friday, April 30, 2010

Blog 7: Body Modification Pt. 2

Body Modification can be a complex process both physically and psychologically. People who decide to modify there body through medical procedures must pay large amounts of money for specific procedures. The process of getting body modification is turned into complete consumerism of buying “pieces” of the body. A human’s body is not only turned into an object, but individual body parts are being also being changed and altered like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. American society has turned body modification into a materialistic process by treating the overall body like an object.

A person who chooses to modify their body through medical procedures must deal with gender and social stigmas, but still as the individual choice of going through the process. America does give citizens the right to their freedom of choice, but is this freedom being broken through itemizing the body? The informational website on body modifications that we looked at for class, describes these procedures in great detail. But the format of the website categorizes many of the body parts based on price of procedure. Descriptions of procedures often include warnings along the lines as; “it’s a financial burden, but if you decide to bare it then do this…” shows how the choice of body modification is not necessarily promoted. But if a person does decide to bear the financial burdens of body modification, then the website can lead them to a variety of procedures that may be done through categorizing specific body areas.

Another example of body parts being itemized is through personal stories of transgender. People who choose to physically modify their body in order to appear a specific gender. Going through a transformation of the body through extensive surgeries, medication, and other techniques of a transgender can be a psychological battle. By making the body an object makes decisions and procedures even more difficult. The personal stories discussed in class did not specifically mention body parts as objects. But the way the stories focused around altered body parts as defining a person’s gender reinforced the notion of itemizing body parts. If a person has the time and money to get reconstructive surgery on specific areas of the body, then they can be what ever gender they want to be. This is how easy the change in body parts makes a transformation for a transgender to achieve.

American society has stripped down and turned the body into a tangible puzzle that can be reassembled through medical procedures. In order to identify a person’s gender, one must identify the body parts. Many resources for body modification information cannot help but categorize physical procedures as if they are individual objects to be added, removed, or adjusted on a person’s body. Even though the choice of modification lies in the hands of the patient, society is pressuring people to feel the desire for itemizing their bodies. Transgender people are a perfect example of a social group that is being pressured to itemize their bodies through gender-alterations. The medical procedures may be expensive, but the way in which it is advertised sounds so simple. A cut here, a stitch-up here, and you are a new person with a new gender! But it is not this simple and body parts are not pieces to a puzzle. Instead, body parts are features that may enhance a person’s gendered appearance, but does not solely define a person’s gender identification.

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